Dads, Solstice, Music: 6.15 – 6.21

June 15, 2016
It's Back to the 50s at the State Fairgrounds

It’s Back to the 50s at the State Fairgrounds

We’ll be celebrating Solstice next Tuesday, the longest day of the year. It’s also Make Music Day in the Twin cities, as I note below. Coming up this weekend is Father’s Day and the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, with car shows and music, and The Back to the 50s Car Show at the State Fairgrounds. Lotsa reasons to get out and about. Have a good week and remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 15

Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, featuring Eric Marienthal and Lao Tizer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) Guitarist Chieli MInucci and drummer George Jinda started Special EFX, a world fusion group, for want of a better term, that, with the help of guest artists, created radio-friendly jazz into the late 90s. Jinda died in 2001 and Minucci carries on, this time with the help of saxophonist Eric Marienthal, who was a member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band for 6 CDs, and has performed with any number of superstars. Keyboardist Lao Tizer provides a modern take on jazz fusion ala Return to Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Thursday, June 16

Wolverines Trio @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 11:30pm. ($5) The folks at the new Viking are creating the occasional surprise in booking, as with this date, when the Wolverines Trio will get on the expanded stage and play.

Photos by Andrea Canter

Photos by Andrea Canter

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) What Would Monk Do?, Modern interpretations of Thelonious Monk, with Peter Schimke, piano; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums.

 

Friday, June 17

Jon Pemberton @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Pemberton is a pianist and trumpeter who will provide music during dinner hour, rather than “dinner music.” After all, the New Orleans vibe, not to mention the food, calls for some playfulness.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) This version of the Fellows is simply a trio, with Lynch on bass and vocals, Chris Beaty on guitar, and Peter Vircks on saxophone. Music from the 30s to 60s, delivered with élan in the lounge of a D’Amico restaurant.

Donald Washington Group @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Reed Master Donald Washington is joined by trumpeter Ryan Nether, bassist Dick Studer, and drummer Kevin Washington for thoughtful improvised music.

Dean Magraw & Marcus Wise @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 Student ID) Guitarist Magraw and tabla player Wise have been musical partners for over 30 years, creating music that is sublime, no matter what the rhythm.

Wozniak/Harris Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; step back from many of the 21st Century groups in which they play, and pay attention to the standards that instilled in them a love of jazz. No word on who else will be in the band, but given their circle of musical partners, the results will be oh so fine.

Saturday, June 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) At 7pm it’s an opening band courtesy of the JazzINK Youth Showcase: The young but very capable band of the Will Schmid Group with Schmid, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Ben Ehrich, drums. At 8:30, it’s the Babatunde Lea Group led by the  conguero/drummer/percussionist.

Hard Bop Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  The Hard Bop Collective: Pete Whitman, sax; Geoff Senn, trumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, piano; Shigefumi Tomita, bass; Jesse Simon, drums will deliver the music of folks like Benny Golson, Cedar Walton, Hank Mobley and others.

Isak Gaines Group featuring DeCarlo Jackson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm, – 11pm ($1-, $5 w/Student ID) New York based Isak Gaines has played at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Paramount theater in Seattle, land jazz festivals in Italy and France. He recently toured Brazil with the New York Youth Symphony Jazz Band. His 8-piece group recently won the Downbeat Student Music Award for their debut recording Bits and Pieces. Playing with the group tonight is our very own fine young trumpeter/bassist DeCarlo Jackson, who has been gigging around town after a couple of years studying at the University of Manitoba.

Sunday, June 19

NY Meets MN @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Two groups: The Will Kjeer Summer Band features Kjeer on piano, along with Stephanie Wieseler on sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. I’m lucky enough to have recently heard each of these talented young musicians, though not together. From New York we have the Lucas Kadish Collective, with Kadish, guitar; Devon Gillingham on bass and Connor Parks on percussion, with special guest Zosha Warpeha on violin. Though Zosha is from Pine City, she, like her fellow New Yorkers, has been studying at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. I believe this will be a fine evening of jazz.

Monday, June 20

David Hazeltine & Eric Alexander @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 Dinner) So, we have two of the most respected jazz artists in the country stopping by to play for us. Who knows what will ensue when a brilliant pianist (Hazeltine) and outstanding bebopper (Alexander on tenor) meet in a listening room overlooking a lake?

Canadian Girlfriend @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 Student) Well, the Calendar for Jazz Central says Canadian Girlfriend, but the description is for Improvestra, a local improvising orchestra with some real heft. They draw from a pool of 150 played to create a group of 10 to 25 for each performance. Further, their music is “groove oriented with a slight variation into the classical and cinematic worlds.” Really, that’s what the description said. So I don’t know if Canadian Girlfriend is the name of the show, an opera, or an opus, but it sounds intriguing

Tuesday, June 21

David Hazeltine/Eric Alexander Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 Dinner) After Hazeltine and Alexander warmed up last night (see above), they’re adding Billy Peterson on bass; and Kenny Horst on drums. What fun!

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 15

Machinery Hill on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 70m (331 Club – Tip Jar) There hasn’t been much farm machinery on the State Fair’s Machinery Hill for decades now, but the quintet named for the areal carries on, with its mix of old time folk music, along with touches of ska, klezmer, celtic and other musics.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Como Conservatory, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (Free) You want roots rock, blues, & even some country, delivered up with the kind of energy once reserved for punk bands. There are activities for kids, while grownups can spread a blanket and have a picnic while gearing up for Crankshaft.

Thursday, June 16

Paul Mayasich Hot Seat w/Bruce McCabe, John Franken, and John Iden @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley (No Cover) Mayasich is a talented and well-respected guitar player, who invites other musicians to share the stage and play some music together. Tonight it’s Bruce McCabe on keys; John Franken on guitar; and John Iden on bass. I don’t think they’ll have much trouble catching the attention of the audience.

Friday, June 17

Jon Rodine & Friends @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($5) Rodine is such a fine singer that he never has any trouble finding excellent players to back him up. Paul Bergeron opens.

Saturday, June 18

Roots Double Header @ The Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 9pm ($12) Nikki Roux and Rich Rue provide clarion vocals and stinging slide guitar to blues, folk, and folk-rock numbers at 6pm, while finger-picker Pat Donahue, who is one of the many fine fingerpickers in this region, not to forget he’s also a fine and composer, gets on stage at 9pm

Lucky Losers @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Phil Berkowitz and Cathy Lemons are Bay Area musicians who took to working together in 2012. Harpist/Vocalist Berkowitz covers a broad swath of sales, from West Coast Swing to New Orleans R&B and even a bit of country blues. Vocalist Lemons recording with Anson Funderburgh while she was coming up in Dallas, and has worked with john Lee Hooker, Tommy Castro, and others. She’s released four albums. This is their first tour of the Upper Midwest, and they’ll have a trio playing guitar, bass & drums with them.

Sunday, June 19

Charlie Parr @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (17, $22) Blues from Minnesota, that sounds like it’s been sucked up the Mississippi from the Delta. Parr has put more that 200,000 miles on his Kia, doing 250 shows a year. He’s possessed, in a totally good way, with blues lovers as beneficiaries.

Monday, Tuesday, June 20, 21

Edgar Winter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $65, $75) Edgar Winter’s White Trash, the songs Frankenstein, Free Ride. This of you of a certain age may have flashbacks on hearing the songs, which dominated the airwaves in 1973, thanks to the album They Only Come Out At Night, which hit number 3 on the charts. With his brother Johnny Winter, Edgar learned much about music growing up in Texas, and still has plenty to say.

Tuesday, June 21

Make Music Twin Cities@ Various Locations. All Day. (No Cost) Make Music Day is a worldwide celebration of music, in which music makers of all stripes play in various places throughout a city, not necessarily in nightclubs or coffeehouses. For instance, at the Lake Phalen Amphitheater, there will be a toddler’s music class from 5pm – 6pm, and a group harmonica lesson in the blues from 6:30pm – 7pm. Meanwhile in Nordeast Mpls, Sarah Jane’s Music School will have a group guitar jam from 7:30 – 8pm, and at Pedro Park in downtown Saint Paul, there will be a noontime Gutiar Jam. For information, go to: http://makemusicday.org/twincities/

 

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


Brrr. Music: 1.13 – 1.19

January 13, 2016
If these guys can make it out, so can you

If these guys can make it out, so can you

Well, we should be getting used to the cold by now, and if we aren’t going out quite as much, we’re still going out. This week we have three world music concerts, a couple of country rock shows, a CD release party, and as usual, some great jazz. Have a good week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 13

Chris Bates Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm ($10) Bates is one of the busier bass players around town, and given how many talented bassists we have, that’s saying something. Tonight he’s joined by a slightly younger generation of talented musicians: Joe Strachan on piano and Matt Buckner on drums. Here’s Chris in a solo performance.

Thursday, January 14

Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Wabasha Street Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8) Swing Dancers congregate at the Caves every Thursday night to dance to big bands such as the Minnesota Jazz Orchestra, a 16 piece band with vocalists Greg Marquadrt and Debbie O’Keefe. Doors open at 6pm, and if you’ve never learned how to swing dance, lessons start at 6:15. Here’s the orchestra with a classic.

Suzanne Paris @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Paris is a singer who has lived in New York and LA, and Japan, led a jazz trio at three different Japanese Jazz Festivals, opened for Tony Bennett, and sung at Birdland, The Blue Note and the Iridium. Since 2000, Paris has been living in the Twin Cities and raising a family, and consequently out of the music business. Having impressed as part of a trio of singers at Jazz Central in October, they are bringing her back to sing from the Great American Songbook, with Chris Lomheim, piano; and Josh Granowski, bass. Sounds like a wise choice.

Friday, January 15

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) The ever-creative Washington is back at the Dog for his monthly gig. This time he’ll be joined by Brad Bellows on valve trombone, as well as Dick Studer on bass; and Davu Seru on drums & percussion. They can sometimes get out there, but with a strong sense of melody and harmony, always bring it back. Here are Donald and Brad with a different rhythm section.

Peter Schimke @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) This appears to be a solo gig for pianist Schimke  an A-list musician who has performed or recorded with folks ranging from Charlie Musselwhite, to Art Farmer, Victor Wooten, Rita Coolidge, and Tom Harrell.

Saturday, January 16

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set at 7pm by the Midwest Sax Quartet: Jared Jarvis, soprano sax; Evan Benidt, alto sax; Joe Mayo, tenor sax; and Gus Sandberg, baritone sax. Followed at 8:30pm by the Zacc Harris Group: Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums.  Zacc Harris will be heading to the UK in a couple of weeks, to perform with Michael Janisch at the famed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London for three nights, as well as at other clubs.

Sunday, January 17

John Penny CD Release Party @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($7) Guitarist Penny has played with Jack McDuff, Bobby Lyle, Bernard Purdie, and Erik Gravatt, in addition to composing for TV commercials, and scores for the movie Patti Rocks, and well as movies for the MN Twins, The United Way, and others. He has a new CD, Urban Tumble. For the first half of the show, he’ll be joined by bassist Charlie Riddle and drummer Davu Seru playing new compositions by Penny. During the second half keyboardist Daniel Williams will join in for songs from the CD, and Pippi Ardennia will sing some of Penny’s vocal songs. Other guests from the CD will sit in as well.

Monday, Tuesday, January 18, 19

Davell Crawford: Tribute to Allen Toussaint @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35), 9pm ($20-$30) This is a highly anticipated show for fans of New Orleans R&B. The “Crown Prince of New Orleans” is a highly praised proponent of New Orleans’ piano tradition. Crawford’s grandfather was “Sugarboy’’ Crawford, an early R&B artist, and Allen Toussaint was a family friend. At the age of eleven, Crawford started hanging out at Toussaint’s studio where he felt it was a safe place to explore his own love for playing piano. Now, he’s carrying on the tradition and is performing the music of Toussaint, who recently left town, as they say.

Tuesday, January 19

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Take advantage of the quiet ambience of the listening room at Crooners to fully appreciate Ms Knutson’s effervescent piano playing. None other than Doc Severinson recognizes her talent, as she regularly tours with his big band. Tonight, she’s joined by a couple of highly respected veterans: Gordy Johnson on bass; and Phil Hey on drums.

Beasley’s Big Band @ Edinborough Indoor Amphitheater, 7700 York Avenue Sou, Edina. (?) Folks in South Minneapolis and the southern ‘burbs can visit the lovely amphitheater to hear the big band sounds of the 19 piece BBB. Here they are at the Caves.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 13

Joyann Parker & Sweet Tea on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This group is a rising star in the Twin Cities Blues Scene. Joyann Parker is a quintuple threat as a singer, pianist, drum, guitarist, and songwriter. She and the guys in Sweet Tea are heading to Memphis to represent Minnesota in the International Blues Challenge. Whether they win down there or not, they’ve already won the hearts of many blues fans in town.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 13, 14

Pure Prairie League @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45) PPL was one of the groups that helped define country rock back in the 70s. Formed in 1969, they had five top 40 LPs in the 70s and a sixth in the 80s, keeping their sound throughout a number of configurations. Amie was their first hit, recorded in ’73 and hitting the charts in ‘75. They also had a top ten hit in 1980 with Let me Love You Tonight, which also hit number one on the Adult Contemporary charts. Some luminaries who helped out with recording or performing include guitarist Mick Ronson, saxophonist Dave Sanborn, and Vince Gill, who would later go on to fame as a solo artist. After breaking up in the 80s, they reformed at the end of the 90s, and though leader Mike Reilly (bass & vocals) is the only long-time member (he joined in ’73), they still have the sweet harmonies that defined their sound.

Thursday, January 14

On the Way to Uskudar and The Other Country Quartet @ JJ Hill Library, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) This is part of the World Live! a series sponsored by the Library and KFAI, which knows a thing or two about musics of the world. On the Way to Uskuda  presents Turkish and Balkan music using traditional and modern instruments. The Other Country Quartet, on the other hand, doesn’t present country music from the US, but music from other countries.

Friday, January 15

Armadillo Jump @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($5) This rockin’ blues quintet  as recently voted Best Dance Band of 2015 by U Wanna Dance, a website and organization aimed at dancers – see the link below. The award is highly appropriate, since the band pretty much instantly fills up dance floors, and, you don’t have to know any special steps, though its always fun to watch dancers that know those special steps.

Faculty Recital @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Here’s a collection of mostly classical pieces done by some of the faculty at MacPhail Center for Music. You’ll hear some Spanish Folk Songs, sung by Mikyoung Park, with Luke Swanger on piano; two pieces composed by Christopher Caliendo, performed by Julie Johnson, flute; and Jeff Lambert, guitar; As well as a couple of Rachmaninoff vocals, a guitar piece by Hector Villa-Lobos; and a piece for Marimba, Vibes, piano, drum, and bass. For more information, go to: http://www.macphail.org

Willie Walker and We “R” @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) It’s been a good year for Willie Walker  who has paid his dues in the soul circuit since the 60s. Walker toured South America a couple of times, and he and the band  recently tour in Switzerland. To top things off, Walker’s latest CD, “If Nothing Ever Changes,” is up for three awards in the 2016 Blues Awards. The Rick Estrin-produced album jus up for Album of the Year, Soul Blues Album, and Soul Blues Male Artist. See what the fuss is about by checking out the lounge at Crooners.

Sons of Almighty @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Here’s an all-star lineup of funkateers from around town, each of whom has played/recorded with major acts from in town and around the nation. Members are: Tommy Barbarella, keys; Michael Bland, drums; Julius Collins, vocals, Cory Wong, guitar; Brian Gallagher, sax; and Sonny Thompson, bass.

Saturday, January 16

Malamanya & Alma Andina @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) There will be lots of Latin dancing at the Cedar tonight, as two home-town favorites take the stage Alma Andina opens, bringing their meld of Andean music (think pan pipes) and modern instruments to the fore. Then Malamanya will shake things up further with their Cuban-inspired dance grooves. In between, DJS from Radio Pocho will keep the grooves going.

Twin Cities Cabaret Salon: Our Way @ The Town House Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Donation) Each month the Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Nework presents a Salon in the back lounge at the Town House. Six different artists perform for 15 minutes each. Tonight they’re celebrating the music of Frank Sinatra, with help from pianist Lori Dokken and Emcee Les Block. Tonight’s performers are Joey Babay, David Young, Mary Keepers, Vicky Mountain, Rhonda Laurie, and Connie Dussl.

Sunday, January 17

Living Colour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60) Since their debut album Vivid, in 1989, Living Colour has been powered by Avant-garde jazz guitarist Vernon Reid and the soulful vocals of Corey Glover. They were among the first bands to transcend genres, mixing rock, jazz, funk, punk and heavy metal into swirling mix of high energy music. Their 1995 dissolution was short-lived, as the band was touring again by 2001. Their latest CD is 2015’s Shade. Here’s a number with some pan-tropical influences.

Mehmet Polat Trio & Srazhalys @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20 advance/$25 Door) It’s another evening of intriguing world music. The Mehmet Polat Trio plays hypnotic music with roots in Ottoman, ancient Turkey, Balkan, and West African music traditions. Members are Mehmet Polat, oud; Sinan Arat, Ney; and Bao Sissoko, kora. The trio plays Polat’s compositions, which allow for much improvisation. Opening is Srazhalys, a quartet that uses Western rhythms to drive melodies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Tuesday, January 19

The Federales w/Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. (Free) Here’s a double bill of acoustic Americana. The Federales describe themselves as a country band for a modern world. With the exception of an electric guitar, this six-piece sings of blues, bourbon, Grain Belt, and guitars, occasionally slipping into a country-rock mood. Doug Otto and the Getaways bring their mournful sounds to the opening set.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. For a listing of dance opportunities, check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Twin Cities Music: 4.15 – 4.22

April 15, 2015
I'm pretty sure they're not filing taxes.

I’m pretty sure they’re not filing taxes.

Well, it’s April 15, time for the annual wringing of hands as taxes are due. There’s no wringing of hands over the lack of music in the Twin Cities, as evidenced by the sample of offerings for the next week. However, since it is tax day, I thought I’d give you a bonus: A video of George Harrison and Eric Clapton doing Taxman.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 15

Sophia Shorai @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Shorai is often described as honey-voiced with good reason, as her sunny personality comes sweetly through, but she can also create just the right catch in her voice to convey a sense of loss and despair. She’s also an excellent pianist and is fast becoming a good songwriter.

MacNally Smith X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pete Whitman leads this big band, and with 17 players, it is a big band of very talented students. Great charts as well.

Century College Big Band @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Seems like this Century College aggregation is getting out and playing a bit. This organization has been around for decades and has hosted some of the nation’s top talent as guest artists.

Thursday, April 16

Rage Of Achilles @ Orchestra Hall Atrium, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Part of the Jazz in the Target Atrium Series, tonight Jeremy Walker, piano; Anthony Cox, bass; and Tim Zhorne, drums, are joined by three vocalists for an original vocal drama composed by Walker and Cox wherein ancient poetry meets classical voice and jazz instrumentation.

Charlie Hunter Trio @ JJ Hill Event Center (Library), Saint Paul. 8pm ($25) This monthly event is usually listed under blues and roots, but tonight they are featuring guitarist Hunter  whose stunning ability on 7 and 8 string guitar let’s him take bass parts as well as rhythm and lead. His career over the last 17 years has resulted in almost 20 albums, recorded for Blue Note, Ropeadope, Concord, and others and he’s worked with folks like Norah Jones and Mos Def. Here’s Hunter in a duo setting, doing Royals.

Friday, April 17

Corey Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Drummer Healey  a well -respected educator, surrounds himself with some of Twin Cities finest: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Erik Fratzke, bass.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Another one of Washington’s monthly appearances at the Black Dog, this time the sax/reedman is accompanied by son Kevin on drums, as well as Brian Roessler, bass; and Eric Jackobson, tuba. It’s often unstructured music, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t engaging.

Javi Santiago Quartet @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) So, the curators of Friday nights at Jazz Central and Friday nights at the Nicollet tweaked starting times, so after checking out Corey Healy at jazz Central, patrons can cross the river and take in this young quartet, led by pianist Santiago, for a full evening of jazz.

Saturday, April 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Curator Steve Kenny continues to draw upon young and/or new bands as opening acts for Saturday nights. Tonight he has the Lucia Sarmiento Ensemble opening at 7pm. Sarmiento is a sax player from Peru, who is studying at MacNally Smith. Her group was quite impressive at last years Jazz Festival. Then at 8:30 or so, Dean Granros  guitar; Alden Akeda, drums; Ron Evaniuk bass; and Steve Kenny, trumpet take the headline spot for the evening.

Gypsy Mania @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, 15600 Old Rockford Rd, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) The Plymouth Church continues its music series with an evening of acoustic swing, or gypsy jazz, if you will. Returning for the third time is Gypsy Mania  with Gary Schulte, violin; Reynold Philipsek, guitar; Matt Senjem, bass; and Glen Helgeson, guitar, play as if a well-oiled machine. Each has extensive experience with various groups, with each other, and with the genre. Here they are doing an original.

Jay Young’s Lyric Factory @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Bassist Jay Young has done tribute shows to Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Tonight, however, he’s paying tribute to Herbie Hancock and Earth, Wind, & Fire. He’ll be helped by Thom West, piano; Ian Young, bass; Kevin Washington,m drums; Ernest Bisong, violin, and vocalists Sarah Greer, Libby Turner Opanga, and Michelle Denise Michaels. I do believe it’s  gonna get funky.

Sunday, April 19

Emily Bear Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35) This young pianist isn’t even 14, yet Bear was invited to perform at the White House when she was 6 and maser her orchestral debut at 7. She’s more than just a natural talent on the piano, however, as she can easily move from bebop to classical music, and is showing signs of becoming a heavy duty composer as well. Her first album was released in 2013. It was produced by her mentor, Quincy Jones, and peaked at #3 on Billboard’s traditional jazz charts.

Monday, April 20

Peter Shu & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Shu was a classically trained prodigy who once he got through college, studied jazz piano with Mary Louise Knutson, Bobby Peterson, and Nachito Herrera. Tonight he’s joined by Gary Arley Denbow II, sax; Kevin Mills, drums; and Tom Lewis, bass.

Tuesday, April 21

John Raymond Quartet @ Eden Prairie High School, Eden Praire. 7pm – 9pm Minnesota native and current New York trumpeter Raymond comes home to conduct clinics during the day at Eden Prairie High School and perform with the school’s jazz ensembles as well as his own quartet.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 15

RJ Mischo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. f5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Mischo is a former Minnesotan who is in town for his annual visit and a few performances. He’s a powerhouse on blues harp, having received glowing praises for his work throughout the country and in Europe. His latest CD, Everything I Need, features Jeremy Johnson on guitar, and Bruce McCabe on piano. He’ll also be appearing at Holihan’s Thursday, The Schooner Pub on Friday, and at Famous Dave’s brunch on Sunday. Check him out.

Willie Murphy & Dean Magraw @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis.7:30pm (Tip Jar) Murphy does a monthly gig at the Schooner where he brings in a guest and they play together. Tonight it’s Dean Magraw, one of the most versatile guitarists you’ll ever find. Though Magraw doesn’t sing, his guitar work will bring out the best in Murphy.

Exotik-A-Go-Go Record Release @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Get out the sarongs and the flower print shirts! Exotik-A-Go-Go has been bringing their faux island sounds to Psycho Suzie’s Tiki Bar every Friday for a couple of years now, vibes, jungle drums, theremin and birdcalls included. If you remember Quiet Village by Martin Denny, you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, they’ve gone a released a record, that’s right a record, not a CD, and they’re celebrating tonight.

Thursday, April 16

Bettye Lavette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) The 69 year old soul singer toiled in the trenches for many years, held back by bad management decisions, and let’s face it, an ability to stand up for herself that came across as prickly, at best. However, in the years since the turn of the 21st Century, she has been rejuvenated, releasing a spate of albums that establish her as one of the premier song interpreters of our time. This year’s CD, Worthy, contains songs by Dylan, Lennon & McCartney, Savoy Brown, and Mickey Newbury, among others. Though she celebrated its release at the Cafe Carlye in New York City, she’s come back to the Dakota every year since her first appearance at the club about 10 years ago. Here she is singing something from the album.

Three Band Night @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) 9pm New Shoes – PHC vets Richard Kriehn, mandolin/guitar; Joe Savage, pedal steel; Gary Raynor, bass; Peterson, drums. 10pm Randy Sabien with Triple Fiddles, 11pm the Subterraneans play down home blues, boogie and roots, Randy Sabien, fiddle, Jim Ouska, guitar; Jim Chenoweth, bass; and Andy Dee, slide.

Friday, April 17

Roots/Americana Benefit for KFAI @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm doors, 7:30pm music ($10 or more, suggested Donation) It’s a benefit for the little station that could, featuring New Riverside Ramblers, Steve Kaul, the Swamp Poppas, Patty & the buttons, Dave Babb, Tom Lieberman, Jon Rodine, square dancing and much more.

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Big Sandy is the L.A. based rockabillly/roots singer and guitarist who includes a bit of Western Swing and Doowop in his repertoire. The dancers will be out for the veteran of 25 years, and always attracts dancers, as well he should. Always a satisfying evening. Opening is Fab Tab, featuring Katy Vernon.

Jimmy Thackery @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The rockin road warrior is back, bending strings and fingers flying down the frets. Thackery spent 15 years with the Nighthawks (and occasionally does reunion shows with them), but since the early 90s has mostly been touring with his trio, the Drivers. Though much of what he plays is blues-rock, he can still deliver the goods on classic blues.

Saturday, April 18

Rock Benefit for KFAI @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm Doors, 7:30pm Music ($10 or more, suggested donation) It’s an evening that ranges from 60s rock to punk to electronic and experimental, with The Silverteens, Scaphe, Kinda Kinky, Beebe Gallini and much much more.

Corey Stevens @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Corey Stevens brings his blues-based rock guitar to the Uptown BBQ. He scored a rock radio hit off his 19956 debut with Blue Drops of Rain, and followed that with another hit, One More Time, in 1997, and is a frequent performer in these parts.

Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) “Q” and the blues always go together, and like that duo, Hurricane Harold’s harp work and guitarist Otto’s mournful vocals are a natural fit.

Monday, April 20

A Dub/Dead Night @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) JT Bates has come up with a change of pace from the exploratory jazz groups that he often presents for the Jazz Implosion. The first set tonight is Entertainment Rhythm featuring Jacob Hansen, guitar; James Buckley, bass; and JT on drums. They’ll be playing live dub music, followed by Steal Your Face, a band that does covers of the Grateful Dead.

Monday, Tuesday, April 20, 21

Dakhabrakha @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($32 – $42) This Ukrainian group is, in many ways, indescribable. Part circus, part street theater, with ethereal, four-part harmonies creating music that has it’s basis in Ukrainian folk music, but with a delivery that can seem to go from Smokey Robinson to Sun Ra in a heartbeat. Though you may not know the words (they’re in Ukrainian after all), the passion of Dakhabrakha comes through.

Wednesday, April 22

A Night at the Opera @ The Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm ($30) If you have any inclinations toward classical compositions and opera, this will be a treat, as Russian baritone Vladislav Sulimsky will be joined by pianist Denis Evsthin to perform popular operatic arias and art songs by Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff. The museum itself is a lovely place with good acoustics, not to mention extraordinary art. Advance registration required, so I’m including it in this week’s notices.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Lotsa Music: 6.18 – 6.24

June 18, 2014

Well, we’ve got quite a busy week ahead, with many notable gigs, especially in jazz, and it’s still a week until the TC Jazz Festival. Let’s hope the weather holds for those outdoor gigs, though many have inside alternatives. Have a great week, and support live music.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 18

Bryan Nichols Quartet @ St. Anthony Park Library, Como Avenue, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 9pm (Free) Pianist Nichols and his quartet (JT Bates, drums; James Buckley, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax) will be presenting  New Forms: Original Works from Jazz’s Past to Future.

Mississippi, featuring Andres Prado @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Sax player Pete Whitman leads this band, which includes resident jazz heavyweights Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums. The original edition of this group included guitar master Andres Prado, of Peru, who moved back home. Now, however, he’s returned for a few weeks, giving us this rare opportunity to hear him.

Unknown-2Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42 – $50) Baker is best known, of course, as the drummer for Cream and Blind Faith back in the late 60s early 70s, but he spent considerable time in Africa soaking in African rhythms, and even played with Fela Kuti. However, he started as a jazz drummer in the early 60s and got quite a bit of recognition in the UK at that time. He’s always considered himself a jazz drummer, and on his first album in umpteen years tackles numbers like Wayne Shorter’s Footprints and  Sonny Rollins’ St. Thomas. He’ll be using a double bass drum set up, and will be accompanied by Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown alum) on sax; Alec Dankworth on bass, and Abass Dodoo on percussion.

Thursday, June 19

Laura Underwood Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Underwood is a versatile singer, who can handle obscure folk and blues from the early 20th century, as well as class swing and jazz, and a few selected tunes from contemporary singer/songwriters.  Here’s an example of her singing.

The Third Thursday @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Part of the new Thursday night free improvisation series at the Afghan cafe owned by Emil Sherzad of KFAI’s Radio Duende. Tonight features Milo Fine on drum set, electric piano, and B Flat Clarinet, and Bryce Beverlin II on percussion and voice.

Friday, June 20

Connie Olson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Singer Olson has performed with the Peter Graves Orchestra, the Peter Duchin Big Band, and musicians from a wide variety of bands, ranging from the Manhattan Transfer to Prince & Madonna. Her debut CD, “Daydreaming” is an homage to Doris Day, and showcases her winning voice and interpretive skills.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This monthly gig is always a delight as Washington, on sax, proves adept at creating improvised music that connects with an audience, no matter who is with him. Tonight, it’s  Eric Jackobson, tuba; Brian Roessler, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Saturday, June 21

Improvisation Encounter with Jin Hi Kim @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) Free improvisation featuring McKnight visiting composer Jin Hi Kim on the Korean Zither (the comungo), along with Twin Cities improvisers Pat O’Keefe and Nathan Hanson (winds); Scott Miller and Steve Goldstein (electronics); and Dean Granros, guitar.

Davu Seru and DeVon Gray @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Here’s a new pairing of musicians that I haven’t seen. Davu Seru is a drummer/percussionist at ease with free improvisation and most any rhythm you throw at him. DeVon Gray is a talented pianist who played with the hip-hop collective Heiruspecs, has accompanied vocalists such as Sophia Shorai, and has occasionally had his own jazz quartet.

Jack Brass Band CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) The Jack Brass Brand recently received a second positive mention in Offbeat, the monthly music magazine of New Orleans. They deserve it as both keepers of the Brass Band tradition, and proponents of contemporary music within that tradition. What hip-hop or New Jack Swing song will they next add to their repertoire? Opening is Lulu’s Playground, a chamber jazz group that includes guitar, cello, accordion, and a trumpet player they share with JBB. Here’s the JBB at one of their regular gigs.

Sunday, June 22

Connie Evingson: The Best of the Ella Fitzgerald Songbook @ the Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) With Jon Weber (host of NPR’s Piano Jazz) and Gordon Johnson. An exquisite singer, singing exquisite songs with exquisite accompaniment. Did I say it will be exquisite?

They enjoy singing together

They enjoy singing together

Retro Swing Sisters: Swing Dance Sundays @ Richfield American Legion, Richfield. 5pm – 7pm ($5) Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie (aka: Retro Swing Sisters) begin a weekly gig entitled Swing Dance Sundays. Joining them will be Big Bob Scoggins, guitar; Doug Haining, sax; Keith Boyles, bass and Trevor Haining, drums. There’s a big dance floor, bar, and pizza is available. And, you can still get home in plenty of time to rest up for the week ahead.

James Carter Organ Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32), 9pm ($22)  Sax virtuoso James Carter is terrific on a variety of saxophones. He’s won awards for his baritone playing and consistently exhibits a searching, imaginative way with his music. Take this gig, for instance, in which the Detroit native will be joined by Leonard King, drums; and Gerard Gibbs, B3. It’s not enough that they’ve got a soul-jazz sound pat. They’re tackling the music of Django Rheinhardt, using the sax as a substitute for Rheinhardt’s lead guitar. Here’s an example.

Monday, June 23

Javier Santiago @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Uber-talented pianist Santiago is back in town from NYC. He’ll be backed by Dad Mac Santiago, and the rest of the JC rhythm section.

Tuesday, June 24

images-2Diane Schuur @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) It was 35 years ago that Schuur was “discovered” at the Monterey Jazz Festival by Stan Getz, who took her under his wing. Two Grammys, three additional nominations and numerous #1 listings have resulted. Now she has a new album dedicated to Stan and Frank Sinatra, and it looks like this vocalist is headed to the top of the jazz charts once again.

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Expect an occasional stop and start as the band works on its often explosive, always rhythmic charts, since this is more of an open rehearsal than performance. Don’t let that stop you from attending and enjoying the music and the experience.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, June 18

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Como Conservatory Visitor Center Lawn, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) It’s time for another Groovin’ in the Garden Series at the Como Zoo and Conservatory. Kicking this season off is wild man Alex “Crankshaft” Larson, whose potent mix of honky tonk, R&B and rockabilly makes for a fun evening. He’s wisely chosen bassist Keith Boyles and drummer Pete Hennig to back him in the Gear Grinders.

Tim Sparks CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10, $42 Dinner & Show) Guitar fans rejoice. Sparks is one of the most versatile finger-pickers in town, and that’s saying a mouthful in this area. His latest, Chasin’ The Boogie, sparkles with blues takes on tunes from Paul McCartney, Roy Orbison, and others, as well as a traditional tune or two and some originals. Special guests include Tom Lieberman and Phil Heywood. Here is Sparks doing one of the songs on the new album:

Thursday, June 19

Ray Covington and the Maxx Band @ Rice Park, Saint Paul (Free) 6pm Dance Lesson, 7:15 music.  An outdoor evening of old school soul and funk, just right for dancing and Steppin’ and if you don’t know how to Step, there’ll be folk from the TC Steppers to instruct you starting at 6pm. Food and drink will also be available. Moved to the Ordway in the event of rain.

Aaron Neville @ the Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7pm ($45, $57.50) Neville came to prominence in the early 60s and had a million selling hit with Tell It Like It Is in 1967. He’s recorded with his brothers, won a couple of Grammys for duets with Linda Ronstadt, had hits on the Adult Contemporary Charts, regularly sang in the gospel tent at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, and recently recorded the top-ten album My True Story, a dozen doo-wop songs from his youth, co-produced by Keith Richards, who also contributed guitar. If you go, you’ll hear a man with the voice of an angel under the stars. Northwoods blues/soul/roots singer Cory Chisel opens. Check out Aaron’s version of Stand By Me:

Millie & the Mill City Cajun Heavyweights @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Millie Biere, John Terr, Shawn Glidden, Eric Mohring, AJ Srubas,and Vaughn Asselstine will be laying down those Cajun rhythms for your dancing pleasure.

Friday, June 20

images-3Mary Jane Alm @ 318 Cafe, 318 Water Street, Excelsior. 8pm ($11) Those of you old enough to recall the late 70s and 80s will recall vocalist Alm, one of the highest profile singers in the area. The country-ish singer has had a professional life full of near misses – potential contracts that never arrived, development deals that went nowhere, and rejections by labels as “too country” or “not country enough.” She’s got a great voice and has developed into a darn good songwriter. She usually has a couple of accompanists playing with her, but whatever the configuration, she’ll shine in this intimate listening room.

Black Diet @ Minnehaha Falls Bandstand, Minneapolis. 7pm (free) This garage soul quintet won a trip to SXSW when they won this year’s “Are you Local?” contest. They describe themselves as a garage/soul band that sounds like a Baptist Church service held at a punk house. That’s a pretty fair description of a groove-laden band that uses an organ and soulful riffs and vocals to get their point across. Here’s a video with a couple of their songs.

Tuesday, June 24

Delhi 2 Dublin @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) New urban party music, with plenty of electronic beats, mashing & intersecting Indian Bhangra, Celtic Dub, Reggae and Rock. To quote the band, “Delhi 2 Dublin is way more indie that all this other indie bands cause some of us are actually from India.”

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walley calendar.


Music for Long Summer Nights: 6.19 – 6.25

June 19, 2013

UnknownWith summer finally heating up and the Solstice upon us, festivals, outdoor gigs, and other opportunities for live music are popping up like fly balls at a batting contest. Enjoy the weather, enjoy the music.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 19

George Maurer @ Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Maurer is a pianist/composer/arranger who has collaborated with folks ranging from the Chiffons and Eric Clapton to the Saint Paul City Ballet and the Minnesota Orchestra. and has written compositions for orchestras, big bands, and Bobby Vee. He’s equally talented whether leading a biggish band or as in today’s gig, a trio.

Doug McDonald Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) McDonald is a bop-based guitarist out of L.A. In addition to his own recording projects, which includes a nonet, McDonald has played with such luminaries as Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughn, Buddy Rich, Hank Jones, and the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra. A rare appearance, and well worth checking out, as you can hear on this video.

Wednesday, Thursday, June 19, 20

imagesRamsey Lewis & Dee Dee Bridgewater @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $50, $40) Ramsey Lewis has three Grammy, Seven Gold Records, two syndicated radio shows, and is an NEA Jazz Master. Dee Dee Bridgewater has two Grammys, a Tony Award, and her own syndicated radio show, Jazz Set, which can be heard Monday nights on KBEM. Last time through the Dakota she was celebrating African music using master musicians from Mali. A long time resident of Paris, she can sing in French, as per her CD J’ai Deux Amours, which is a regular on my CD player, and is a terrific entertainer, no matter what she tackles.

Friday, June 21

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Wine & Coffee Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jay) This is a fairly regular gig for Bellows (valve trombone) and Washington (saxes). This time they’ve enlisted Matt Peterson (bass) and Alden Ikeda (drums) to fill out the group, which should provide for some exciting dynamics.

Friday, Saturday, June 21, 22

Mississippi Jazz Connection @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) As if teaching at McNally Smith, leading the X-Tet, and regularly appearing around town in various groups wasn’t enough, saxophonist Pete Whitman has a new project featuring a group of formidable musicians. The Mississippi Jazz Connection features Pete on sax, Peter Schimke on piano, Jeff Bailey on bass, and Kevin Washington on drums.

Saturday, June 22

The Sibley House

The Sibley House

Butch Thompson: Jazz in June @ Sibley House Historic Site, 1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Mendota. 5:30pm – 8:30pm ($10/$7MHS members) With Charlie DeVore, trumpet; Tom Andrews, drums; Steve Pikal, bass; and Lee Engele on vocals. It’a an evening of jazz and stories about Mendota’s jazz history. Mendota used to be home to the  Jazz Emporium, located across the street from Sibley House. It was a hot spot for jazz during the 70s and early 80s, featuring first generation players from New Orleans and Chicago playing traditional jazz of the highest order. It was the kind of place you don’t see anymore, where you could bring your own bottle and buy “set-ups” of mixers and glasses. While you won’t be able to bring your own bottle, you can bring a lawn chair or blanket, and a picnic, and there will be a cash bar available.

Linda Peterson & Jason Delaire @ Porter & Frye, Minneapolis. 9pm – Midnight (No Cover) Two members of the talented Peterson Family will hold forth tonight. Linda is a delightful singer and pianist whose original song, Too Late To Leave Early, has gained worldwide recognition, has four CDs to her credit, and is in the midst of recording another. Delaire is a saxophonist and keyboard player who has worked with a variety of artists, ranging from Donny Osmond and Michael Bolton, to Prince, Oleta Adams, and Bobby Brown. He’s equally at home playing jazz or R&B. The intimate confines of the lower lounge in the restaurant at Hotel Ivy will provide a cozy listening experience.

Sunday, Monday, June 23, 24

David Murray Quartet & Macy Gray @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55, $45), 9pm ($50, $40) At first glance, this is a surprising pairing. Murray is a sax player well versed in free improvisation and the expressive stylings of Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp and John Coltrane, yet he also is a link to Ellington, and Ben Webster. He’s released over 150 albums as a leader since the 60s, and has been a member of the World Saxophone Quartet. His 2011 recordings of Nat King Cole’s “Espanol” songs was a delight. Now he’s back with a new recording, Be My Monster Love, featuring Gregory Porter and Macy Gray on vocals.  The raspy-voiced Gray has sold 14 million records world wide and won a Grammy for her R&B hit I Try, back at the turn of the millenium. Though known mostly as a neo-soul singer, the raspy-voiced Gray got her start singing jazz and standards. Here’s a video of Gray singing with Murray’s big band.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, June 19

Maurice Jacox @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. (Free) Younger folks may know him from his work with the Twin Cites Funk n’ Soul Revue. Older folk know him from Willie & the Bees, The Butanes Soul Revue, and the Lights Out Committe, among other R&B projects. However, Maurice is more than an R&B/Soul singer. He recently returned from a 10 day trip to Havana, where he sang (in Spanish) with Nachito Herrera, and he regularly sings Nat King Cole songs, jazz standards, and jazzy acoustic versions of Motown. Hear him today, with Tom West on keys in the sunlit atrium of the Landmark Center. By the Way, if you can’t make it there, see him tonight at 10pm at the Red Stag in Minneapolis.

Thursday, June 20

Bill Kirchen & Crankshaft @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Kirchen is the “Titan of the Telecaster,” a well deserved name ever since he cranked up the energy in Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen’s hit Hot Rod Lincoln. Since then the man who plays at the nexus of country western and rock n’ roll has lent his talented guitar work to folks like Emmy Lou Harris, Nick Lowe, Doug Sahm, Elvis Costello and a host of others. Opener Crankshaft is also known for his high-energy approach to music, albeit in a bluesier vein. An inspired pairing. Kirchen demonstrates why he earned his nickname on this video.

Friday, June 21

Porch Builder @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Loosey goosey country-ish rock with raspy vocals and smart guitar licks from some fun-lovin’ rural hippies out of Iowa City. As one reviewer put it, “Maybe these guys would be more famous if they’d leave the bottle alone and tried to pass a urine test now and then.”  Under the Radar Gig of the week.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 21, 22, 23

Deep Blues Festival @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 4pm – 10pm each day. ($70/day, $175 for all three) Three days of the downest, funkiest, punkiest tranciest blues you’ll ever hear. From Friday’s opener, Charlie Parr, to Sunday’s closer, Reverend Deadeye, you’ll hear six bands a day, playing blues that goes way beyond Chicago, way beyond Mississippi, on out into the stratosphere. Plus… Plus, you get all you can eat of the Bayport BBQs ribs, chicken, and fixin’s. It’s a small place, and since fans come from around the nation and across the seas, you may want to call them at 651-955-6337 before heading out.

Saturday, June 22

Roots of the West Bank @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 6pm ($10 Advance/$15 door) Past and present performers that have made the West Bank a center of music. The list includes: Adam Granger, Ana  the Bel-tones, Becky Thompso; Butch Thompson, Dakota Dve Hull, the Howling Goats, Jack Klatt, Spider John Koerner, Judy Larson, the Liquor Pigs, Phil Heywood, Pop Wagner, Papa John Kolstad, Roy “Catfish: Alstad, Sabyre Rae & the Midnight Sons, Tony Glover, & Willie Murphy. Whew!

Sunday, June 23

images-2Ticket to Brasil @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 7:30 (Free) Ah, summer in the Cities. Pack a picnic and stake out a grill, or get some mighty fine vittles from the concession stand and enjoy the lilting sound of bossa novas and sambas as performed by this six piece band and their special guest on sax – Doug Little.

James Hunter Six and Shemkia Copeland @ The Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7:30pm ($33) Though he was long considered was of Britain’s Best Kept Secrets in R&B and Soul, Hunter has come into his own in the last half dozen years or so,since Hunter’s approach to R&B and Soul pays homage to the music of the 60s without feeling retro. He gets it. Hunter’s first two US releases, People Gonna Talk, and The Hard Way, earned great reviews and topped the Billboard charts. He and his band are now touring in support of their latest, Minute by Minute. Shemekia Copeland is the daughter of the late, highly regarded bluesman Johnny Copeland, and as they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


Dancin’ n’ Listenin’. Music: 9.5 – 9.11

September 5, 2012

Dancers at last year’s Selby Avenue Jazz Festival

Here in the Twin Cities, we are lucky to be able to choose from a few competing festivals on Saturday, three of which are in Saint Paul. The Concrete and Grass Festival (free) offers a wide variety of music, from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Jack Brass Band on Thursday evening, through the Minnesota Opera and Gary Louris (of the Jayhawks) on Saturday.

Meanwhile, jazz is the order of the day at the 11th Annual Selby Jazz Festival (free), featuring Saint Paul bands and New York artists Abdul Zuhli on guitar, and Cheryl Pepsii Riley on vocals.

Finally, for Saint Paul, The Summit Backyard Bash ($14) features Doomtree, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, Halloween Alaska, and the Now Nows, as well as Hotpants DJs between sets.

If you live in the West Metro, you may want to check out Saturday’s street dance in Wayzata. See the listing for the Butanes Soul Revue, below. As always, check out my blog for photos, links, and videos. Note also, that I’m contributing a gig recommendation to the Daily Planet each week.

There is also much to enjoy earlier in the week, so get out and enjoy yourself.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 5

Marv Dahlgren/John Dickinson Quintet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) After 47 years playing with the Minnesota Orchestra and writing classic instructional books, Dahlgren is considered a master of drums and vibes. Tonight he’s paired with his grandson, who is a vibes player studying at the  Lucerne Jazz School in Switzerland. They’ll be joined by Garty Gratz, piano; Jay Young, bass; and David Stanoch, drums. Betty Dahlgren will accompany her grandson on Celtic harp for a few numbers, for an evening of jazz that will surprise and delight.

Thursday, September 6

Valve Meets Slide and Horace Silver @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Brad Bellows (valve trombone) and David Graf (slide trombone) lead Chris Bates, bass; Bryan Nichols, piano; and Mac Santiago, drums in an evening of the music of Horace Silver. Horace Silver was one of the instagators of hard bop, using gospel and R&B influences to create jazz that both moved you and was moving. Bellows and Graf are two of the finest trombonists in town, and have a stellar rhythm section. This should be a groovin’ evening.

Friday, September 7

Ginger Commodore & Debbie Duncan @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Commodore and Duncan are a  couple of very soulful jazz singers, or very jazzy soul singers. Take your pick. Both have been successful in stage productions, which isn’t hard to believe given the power of their voices. Both have also been performing for ages, so you can expect a professional, and very satisfying show.

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar)

Bellows (valve trombone) and Washington (sax) lead a quartet including Pete Hennig (drums) and Brian Roessler (bass) through free improvisation.  Don’t be put off by that description, however. It’s highly accessible music, even if you can’t hum it. Here’s a video from an appearance last year.

Franze, Brown & Horst: The Tuesday Night Band @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Have you been having withdrawal pains from the lack of greasy, B-3 driven music for the last few months? Have no fear, this trio, better known as The Tuesday Night Band, returns for one night only as Billy Franze, guitar; Downtown Bill Brown, Hammond B-3; and Kenny Horst on drums deliver the down home sounds of a groovin’ B-3 trio.

Friday, Saturday, September 7, 8

The toy that inspired the name.

Happy Apple @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10) The hipness quotient of the Icehouse just jumped a few points, though it hardly needed a boost. Happy Apple is highly regarded among the relatively young (say, under 35), in part because the trio of Mike Lewis, sax; Eric Fratzke, electric bass; and Dave King, drums; exhibit a rock/punk attitude. However, their extreme talent plays a big part, as does the sometime rambling, often hilarious on-stage musings of King.

Saturday, September 8

JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske @ Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free) Suffice to say most of the folks at a hotel lobby bar are not there to listen to jazz. They simply want a drink or two while talking with fellow hotel guests. It’s a testament to the talent of JoAnn Funk (piano, vocals) and Jeff Brueske (bass) that they can catch the attention of aforementioned guests, handle their requests, and bring in customers just to hear the two of them. Funk and Brueske tackle the  the songs of Nat King Cole, Blossom Dearie, Dan Penn, Madeline Peyroux and more with aplomb, taste, and imagination.

Roxanne Cruz & Jeremy Walker @ Ingredients Cafe, White Bear Lake. 6:30pm – 9:30pm. East metro denizens have a chance to hear a fine vocalist and excellent pianist while dining at Ingredients.

Sunday, September 9

Adieu Summer @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6:30pm. ($10)  This is the fifth or sixth year that Ticket To Brasil is hosting an end-of-summer event. Today’s artists include: The Talking Strings, featuring Gary Shulte on violin; Trio Bossa Nova; vocalist Lee Engele; and the ten-piece Ticket to Brasil. The Pavillion is covered from all but sideways rain, and has plenty of room for dancing, whether you trip the light fantastic to swing or samba rhythms. This family friendly event will be a fitting goodbye to summer.

PipJazz Sunday @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($25/door, $10/Student, children under 12 – free)  Since singer Pippi Ardennia moved here from Chicago a few years ago she has been turning heads with her monthly series, bringing in guest artists and young musicians to share the stage. Her charming, welcoming manner makes these monthly events very family-friendly. The musicians and Pippi deliver first class music. Today’s guest is singer Dennis Spears, of Moore by Four, the Nat King Cole production at Penumbra, and numerous appearances around town.

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Sidran is no stranger to this town, having appeared at both the AQ and the Dakota many times. Tonight he’ll use his piano and voice to tell the stories of “Jews, Music, and the American Dream,” which is also the title of his latest book. He’s got a PhD in American Studies, is well known as the host of NPR’s Peabody Award winning series “Jazz Alive,” and may be best known as the writer of Steve Miller’s big hit, Space Cowboy. Nevertheless, Sidran is an excellent piano player, and a hip storyteller, weaving complex, astute narratives over a vamp as he introduces each number. Expect songs written by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Carole King, Bob Dylan, and more.

A more comprehensive calendar for the Twin Cities can be found at Jazz Police. It features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, September 5

A rare moment when Zack isn’t playing

Zack Lozier Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar)  This is a slightly different booking than usual for Harold’s House Party, as Zack stepped in at the last minute when the originally booked group had to cancel. Zack is an in-demand, versatile trumpet player who is as down with the blues as he is with jazz. His clarion trumpet can be heard in the Jack Brass Band, Chris Bates Red 5, the Adam Meckler Big Band, and the Southside Aces, and other groups. He recently toured with the Doc Severinson Band, and has toured internatonally with Todd Clouser, Davina and the Vagabonds, and others. Zack will be accompanied by veteran bass player Keith Boyles and up and coming keyboard player Steven Hobart. A unique gig.

Friday, September 7

Flatt Foot Rollers @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm. ($5) With a song list that ranges from the Temptations to the Gap Band to Albert KIng, this seven-piece R&B/Funk band will get you dancing, even this early in the evening.

Cliff Eberhardt @ The Gingko Coffee House, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15 advance/$17 Door) The passionate, witty folk singer/songwriter is helping Gingko celebrate its 20th anniversary. On his latest album, All Wood and Doors, Eberhardt (with the help of some friends) does acoustic versions of songs from the Doors. His previous album 500 Miles, was recorded in Texas Hill Country and is flavored with musical influences from the region.

Swamp Kings @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) As the name implies, this trio lays down cajun, zydeco, and swamp beats that will have you head-bobbing and toe tapping to the point where you’ll have to get out of your chair, or off your stool, and dance.

Corpse Reviver w/guest Dakota Dave Hull @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip jar) Mikkel Beckman’s salute to the Anthology of American Folk Music kicks off it’s third year at the 331 with a special guest. Dakota Dave Hull is a nationally renowned picker and singer with a vast repertoire in his guitar case.

Saturday, September 8

Butanes Soul Revue w/Willie Walker @ James J. Hill Days Street Dance, Wayzata. 7pm (Free) It’s a busy weekend for Curt Obeda and his band. The four piece is at Shaw’s in Minneapolis on Thursday, then they add Willie Walker for a Friday evening appearance at the Concrete and Grass Festival in downtown Saint Paul, and today they go full bore with the eleven-piece Soul Revue featuring Maurice Jaycox on vocals and guest Willie Walker. A lakeside street dance on a pleasant Saturday night. Life is good.

Lamont Cranston & Willie Murphy @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Willie and his band start things off at 9pm, followed by the Cranstons at 11PM. It will be a night of West Bank Boogie’n, as these stalwart bands fill the big dance floor at the MMC.

Monday, September 10

Al’s Rockabilly Quartet @ Famous Dave’s Uptown, Minneapolis. 8pm. (No cover) Swing dance lesson from the ubiquitous Ms Shannon Butler run from 7:15 to 8:00, when Al’s Rockabilly Quartet takes the stage and you can test out your new moves. Pomade, tight jeans with turned up cuffs, and poodle skirts are optional.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.

For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


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